Raila Odinga has changed his 2022 tact and is creating new political players who will lead his presidential campaigns. After the disintegration of National Super Allaince, Mr. Odinga embarked on a path to find new allies some of whom are currently in government, others on their second term as governors, and influential first-term county bosses.
At the Coast, the ODM leader is keen on maintaining his grip on the voting block which has traditionally voted ODM and has identified new allies across the four counties.
In Kilifi for instance, the Raila-led party has enjoyed massive support for the last ten years where outgoing Governor Amason Kingi has been leading its activities. With Governor Kingi retiring next year, Raila has his eyes on Lands CAS Gideon Mungaro who recently announced he will use ODM to run for Kilifi governor’s position in 2022. Mugaro who vied using Jubilee Party lost to Kingi in 2017 after coming second with 55,107 votes against Kingi’s 213,174.
In Tana River and Taita Taveta counties, Governors Dhadho Godana and Granton Samboja will champion the ODM leader’s activities, while in Mombasa he is expected to maintain solid support courtesy of Governor Hassan Joho and gubernatorial aspirants Suleiman Shahbal and Abdulswamad Nassir (MP Mvita). Joho is also the ODM Party Deputy Leader.
In Eastern, Governors Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni, Alfred Mutua of Machakos, and Charity Ngilu of Kitui will represent the region in Raila’s camp. The three governors who won their respective gubernatorial seats without depending on Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka have challenged Mr. Musyoka’s authority in the region and are likely to determine its political direction next year.
Nairobi is not such a headache for Mr. Odinga given he commands a majority of following in the county. However, the team has identified young aspirants enjoying grassroots following, as well as youthful Nairobi MPs who drummed up support for Imran Okoth in Kibra, complemented by prominent national leaders.
It is in Mt Kenya that the ODM leader is burning the midnight oil, to try and craft a formidable team that will help him undo the years of political propaganda against him in the region. Former Kiambu boss William Kabogo, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Governor Anne Waiguru, and Agriculture CS Peter Munya are some of the leaders said to be in Mr. Odinga’s camp. Apart from these, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s allies in Jubilee are also backing the former PM’s bid.
Gideon Moi and CS of Mining John Munyes are likely to lead the Rift Valley wing.
In Western Kenya, pundits say Raila Odinga has pulled the rug under ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya Moses Wetangula’s feet. While the two leaders are struggling to win a following in the five Western counties, Mr. Odinga already has three out of five of the counties are firmly under his grip. Governors of Busia, Kakamega, and Vihiga are from ODM. In addition, Governor Wamangati of Bungoma and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa will be in Mr. Odinga’s camp for Bungoma and Transzoia county votes.
Governor Wycliffe Oparnya is also the Deputy ODM leader.
Entire Nyanza leadership, comprising senior Luo and Abagusii community leaders in government and politics have all gravitated towards Raila Odinga’s 2022 cause. Interior CS Fred Matiangi and Governor James Ongwae represent the region in Mr. Odinga’s camp.